It's lunchtime, your stomach is grumbling and that frozen meal just does not sound appealing for the third time this week. Lunch is always an important meal for student-athletes, especially when it's the last meal they eat before a scheduled practice, workout or game. You could run out and grab something, spend too much money and feel lousy the rest of the day—or, with the right tools and some planning, you can have exciting, healthy lunches that last you an entire week. (See Healthy Eating for On-the-Go Athletes.) How so? Here are three ways to pack a healthier lunch.
Although leftovers can be an option for lunches, I know I don't always want to eat the same thing two days in a row. So instead, use one ingredient from dinner and turn it into something completely different.For example:
This is the answer to the busy week, allowing you to quickly put together a lunch that you will look forward to. Wash and chop all your vegetables, put together snack bags of nuts and raisins, portion out servings of hummus or peanut butter and make a big batch of brown rice, quinoa or roasted sweet potatoes.
The more healthy things you have ready to go, the easier it is to make a variety of lunches throughout the week. Buying things is a great first step, but unless they are ready to go, it is still hard to use them.
This is a good guideline for structuring your lunches properly. Whenever possible, follow the rule of three: carbohydrate, protein and vegetable. A great example is a grain-based salad. To make one:
You can switch up the ingredients, but as long as you have all the components, you have the makings of a healthy lunch!
Want more healthy lunch ideas? Check out what's on the pros' plates.